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Archives from October 2013
Hymn to the Koch Brothers
Dear Esteemed Brothers, On the way back from my father’s village, I’ve decided to take time to think over topics connected to our common interests. News of your conquests in America first reached us here in the backwater like word of a distant storm. It was in ...
Eavesdropping, Drones, an Integrated Posture
We are taught to pick-and-choose, but defining the nature of society, its propensity to democracy or fascism, is not like entering the ice cream parlor and selecting chocolate or strawberry.  Policies are not discrete.  When POTUS personally selects candidates for assas...
Death As a Winning Argument
As a college freshman I was lucky to have had a wonderful professor for my Introduction to Philosophy class.   Her name was Dr. Virginia Ringer.  She was irreverently funny, conscientious, modest, brilliant, and an extremely tough grader, which, instead of making us re...
Bully Blowback
Another school shooting. Another candlelight vigil.  On Monday, October 21st, a Nevada teacher was murdered and two 12-year-old boys were wounded. The shooter, described as a “nice kid”, killed himself at the scene. Student Amaya Newton said, “...
Commercialization and Conflict
Developing Divisions Participation is a cornerstone of the democratic ideal. It sits alongside those other marginalized tenets: social justice, freedom and equality. Forgotten principles in a world of corporate politics driven by the quest for endl...
An Injunction Against the Truth
Monday morning, Oct. 21, 2013. Vera Scroggins, a retired real estate agent and nurse’s aide, was in Common Pleas Court for Susquehanna County, Pa., to explain why a temporary injunction should not be issued against her. Before her were four lawyers and several em...
Demanding a New Political Agenda
We, the people, need to take a hold of the American working class idea of “Fuck ‘em” when someone wants to tell us that we just can’t do something. In this brief and vulgar remark is the belief that of course this is how it is, but we will not succumb to it, that ...
The Corruption of the Innocent
I had (with notable doubt) high hopes for Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Stephen King’s Carrie. I know that taking on Brian De Palma, whose 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie in iconic history-making performances, was no short order to fill. On the o...
The Unfulfilled Promise of “American Promise”
The treatment of African American boys in the American education system is rife with severe misunderstandings, discrimination, and widespread damaged outcomes. An achievement/outcome gap between Black boys and other children has been well documented and persists, but the ...
Bringing Maternal and Child Health Care to Northern Nigeria
Abuja, Nigeria Every day, 2,300 children under-five and 145 women of childbearing age die in Nigeria, making the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world, according to UNICEF statistics. This situati...
Honk If You No Longer Display a Bumper Sticker
Before social media, if you wanted to make an instant friend or enemy on the basis of your opinions, all you had to do was put a bumper sticker on your car. America Love It Or Leave It, My Country Right or Wrong and If You Don’t Like The Police, Next Time You’...
Congo Paris Congo
Alain Mabanckou’s Blue White Red conjures up a sense of déjà vu.  Though no fault of hi...
The Princes of Capital and the King of Instruments
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, for an organ concert last Sunday. The organ is a wind instrument whose bellows are its lungs. There is something ironic, therefore, in the fact that Duke University, a place that flourished thanks to tobacco money, ...
Young, Hruška-Cortés & Tirado
The Perilous Hike into Deep Wilderness by TOM YOUNG Beyond the dead-end lot’s shot-up gate, the worst behind, lighting out into roadless. But too often at first their exorcism of trashed fire-pits, girdled bark, ...
Why ObamaCare Will Fail to Solve Our Health Care Crisis
In what is perhaps the greatest corporate scam ever, not only did the health insurance corporations write the federal health law, called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to enhance their profits, but now they also have the government and non-profit groups doing the work of ...
Obama’s Drone Killing Campaigns
Last week President Obama was largely successful at blacking out from the American public word that Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai, the courageous Pakistani advocate of girls’ education nearly killed by Taliban gunmen a year ago, used a photo-op invitation t...
The Sectarian War at Hand
Doha The warm waters of the Gulf look quiet from where I am sitting, but such tranquility hardly reflects the conflicts this region continues to generate. The euphoria of the so-called Arab Spring is long gone, but what remains is a region that is rich wit...
How Libya Fell Off the Media Map
Seldom has the failure of a state been so openly and humiliatingly confirmed as happened in Libya last week with the brief kidnapping the Prime Minister ...
A Modest Proposal to the Anti-Defamation League
Dear Abe Foxman, Thank you! Our organization, If Americans Knew, is enormously honored by our inclusion in your recent ...
What If ObamaCare was a Fighter Jet?
Imagine if you will…an epic government failure. Chronic mismanagement and cost over-runs. Incomplete software coding, timely political donations and undelivered promises. And zero accountability. Now, imagine the outrage. No, really. You will actual...
Justice and Reparations in Haiti
The month of October brings an unwelcome anniversary for Jacqueline Olonville. A 54 year-old mother and grandmother who sells plaintains by the road that runs through the village of Bocozelle, Haiti, Olonville was one of over half a million Haitians who were sicken...
Serialization of Political Murder
At the last moment, checking Webster’s on serialization, I was struck by its application to music—“based on a series of tones in an arbitrary but fixed pattern without regard for traditional tonality”—which, transposed to political reality, says it all: ...
Does the World Have a (Marxist) Future?
On October 19 and 20th, Stockholm played host to “Marx 2013,” a conference on Marxism involving hundreds of participants and leading Marxist thinkers from the United States, France, Germany and Sweden: ...
Liberals and the Libertarian “Contagion”
It’s impossible to make this stuff up, folks. columnist Tom Watson, in an article on the upcoming “Stop Watching Us” rally in Wash...
Association for Humanist Sociology Votes to Support the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
The membership of the Association for Humanist Sociology, an organization dedicated to scholarship and action in the service of justice and peace, has voted to support the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. The call to boycott came out of Palestinian civil society a...